Using picture schedules in medical settings for patients with an autism spectrum disorder

J Pediatr Nurs. 2013 Apr;28(2):125-34. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2012.05.004. Epub 2012 Jun 26.


Autism is a neurobiological disorder that compromises ability to communicate and can be accompanied by anxiety, particularly for those in unfamiliar settings with unknown people. To improve communication, children with autism often relate well to pictures; however the literature describes no studies of picture schedules for patients with autism in medical settings. Our pilot project demonstrates how picture schedules for medical settings can relieve anxiety in children with autism and suggests that this approach should be employed as an innovative way to interact with patients with autism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Audiovisual Aids*
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / nursing*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / psychology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Iowa
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Simulation
  • Photography
  • Physical Examination / psychology
  • Pilot Projects